Somerset

Swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor's family 'ecstatic' over Rio silver

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Media captionSiobhan-Marie O'Connor became the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in the 200m medley

Swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor's family have said they are "ecstatic" after she took silver in Rio.

Grandparents David and Doreen Hotham stayed up all night at their Wiltshire home to watch her finish second.

Mr Hotham told Good Morning Britain: "We have had a text; she is absolutely delighted, obviously. What more could a family ask for?"

Her dad, Sean O'Connor, said: "Siobhan coming away with a medal, I don't think it'll get any better for me."

The 20-year-old finished 0.3 seconds behind Hungarian world champion Katinka Hosszu, who set an Olympic record, in the 200m individual medley.

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Image caption The silver was an incredible achievement for the Somerset swimmer who suffers from ulcerative colitis [chronic bowel disease]
Image copyright PA
Image caption O'Connor, who trains at the University of Bath, began swimming at the Keynsham Swimming Club at the age of eight

Swimming a British record, the silver was an incredible achievement for the Somerset swimmer who suffers from ulcerative colitis [chronic bowel disease].

"She has a condition but she never moans," said her father, who watched the race from the stands with O'Connor's mother and brother.

"If she could stay fit and well I was hoping she'd get a silver medal and she showed it. But I didn't expect the time."

Her grandmother said: "She is a very determined young lady - once she sets her heart on something, she will work and she is determined she is going to do it.

'Very modest'

O'Connor, who trains at the University of Bath, began swimming at the Keynsham Swimming Club at the age of eight.

Thelia Beament, coach of the Gold Squad at the club, said she was a "very very unaffected, very modest and a lovely girl".

"When she can fit it in she comes down and does our little gala that we have with all the little children," she said.

"She races next to them, which is fantastic, and they stand up next to an Olympian. Now they can stand up next to a silver medallist."

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